Yesterday marks one month since my momma passed. And I don't know how the world continued to move through time while we were left behind, stuck in our loss.
Things that happen:
1. You wonder when you’ll go a day without crying. You forget who said it or where you read it but someone said it’s worse when you actually do go a day without crying.
2. Someone will become obsessive about making sure her Celebrations are perfect. (Likely, you). At the end of it, the number of compliments never really mattered. You hate that you had to it. It’ll never be good enough because it never should have happened.
3. You wonder when you can do your “normal” without her.
4. Focus becomes elusive – how did you find all of these things important before?
5. Sunshine becomes one of the most noticeable gifts you receive.
6. Going on a walk becomes finding freedom… but you're not sure from what.
7. You overindulge in coping mechanisms that may or may not be helping you.
8. You don’t know what to say to your grieving father when he tells you how he’s feeling. But you don’t want him to stop. So you just listen and love him as best as you can.
9. You throw a tantrum and rage about how unfair it is – approximately twice a week.
10. You read some people say grief is forever and some say it changes you and some say it becomes beautiful and you hate all of them because you just want your mom back.
11. You wish you could text her but you know your dad is constantly looking at her phone.
12. You start your own server on discord so you can message her whenever you want. You don’t tell anyone.
13. Things matter so much less than they did three weeks ago.
14. Some things matter so much more than they did three weeks ago.
15. You start reading articles about ongoing relationships with those who’ve passed and judge yourself pretty hard. Then decide to shut the fuck up because you can have a relationship with whoever you damn well please. It doesn’t matter anyway.
16. Some random tv show will have an important character die and there will be a funeral and you will be hysterically sobbing, and they’ll get every detail wrong. Have these idiots ever lost someone?
17. You start to fear loss of other loved ones for no reason. And you know it’s both logical and illogical to have those fears.
18. You wonder if you will ever go a day without crying.
19. When you finally get up the courage to start looking through your old text messages, you become an absolute mess at the first one and stop looking.
20. You wonder how the world has continued to move on without you. Time seems to have continued for everyone around you.
21. It’s hard to send thank you notes to people who contributed to her tribute campaign because you’d give it all back to have her here.
22. You fight with your siblings and aren’t really sure why or to what end.
23. A month will go by and you won’t be sure how.
24. You’ll tell someone that you’re waiting to be told that this is a joke… and they point out it’d be a really sick joke. You reply that it’d still be better than this.
25. You’ll have your first dream with your mom in it. It's a nightmare.
26. You’ll wake up crying.
27. You’ll call into work because you just can’t focus.
28. All of a sudden spending a dozen hours playing with fabric doesn’t sound too awful, and you begin to see why she loved it so much. Surprise in every bundle. The depth of the surprise colors.
29. There are moments when you forget that she’s gone. And then you remember, and your stomach turns over as you remember all that you’ve lost. You feel sick.
30. You’ll think you’re totally fine and then without realizing why, you’re crying. Actively crying.
31. You start reading books about grief to find solace in others’ experience because you don’t know who else to talk to about it:
1. “I love you more than even one more day.” –
2. “Have I realized that this is something that happened to him? Not something that happened to me.”
3. “Grief turns out to be a place no of us know until we reach it. We know someone close to us could die. We might expect to feel shock. We do not expect the shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect to be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy. Cool customers who believes their husband is about to return and need his shoes…”
4. “And here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is: the unending absence that follows, the void, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself.“
5. “Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.” – CS Lewis
32. A month goes by and you’re not sure how, but you know you’ve been robbed at least 3.5 phone calls and daily text messages and two already planned visits.
33. You’re not sure if anyone notices, or if they care, or if it really matters that your effort at work has more than halved. Nothing you get paid to do really seems to matter to you anymore.
34. You finally voice how angry you are the doctor still hasn’t called – was it malpractice? Another black woman as a victim of our fucked up healthcare system? Why did they schedule the defibrillator so late? Would she still be here if she were lying down? If they’d installed it weeks ago?
35. You start wondering what defines a good life? You decide she had one.
36. You voice that she wasn’t ready to go… and the only person in the world who could actually disagree with you does, and now you’re not sure anymore. She’s not suffering anymore and that must be worth something.
37. You realize that loving someone doesn’t stop when they pass, and you continue to love your mom just as you continue to miss her, and none of the grammar makes sense in your sentences anymore. And you don’t care. Present tense when it “should” be past is someone else’s problem.
38. On the month anniversary, you ask your husband how he is handling it, and as he talks, he cries. You remember you’re not alone in your grief. This too, can be shared.